Lone worker specialist, Connexion2, developer and manufacturer of the award-winning Identicom lone worker device range has unveiled the next generation Identicom. Identicom is the UK’s most widely used, dedicated lone worker device with over 100,000 devices shipped since its launch in 2004. Whilst predominantly used in the UK, recent years have seen key partnerships overseas facilitating supply across all continents enabling Connexion2 to become a globally recognised leader in lone worker safety.
The new Identicom 8 and 9 series devices will not only be smaller and lighter but will also be packed with a range of new features and functionality to allow organisations to better equip individuals and provide lone workers with even greater options to assess and reduce risk to their personal safety. The new device ranges will feature a camera function, to capture still-images and stream video during a ‘Red Alert’, and two 3G enabled devices facilitating additional coverage options for users, particularly in several export markets where GSM coverage is less developed. The new 9 series Identicom models are scheduled for launch at later dates during 2012.
The new Identicom will offer the option of definable one or two-way audio communication to meet the specific requirements of the lone worker or employer. An assessment of a user’s risk profile will primarily determine which configuration is most appropriate – one-way communication for workers requiring maximum discretion and two-way communication for those facing environmental risk. The primary function on Identicom continues to be the ‘Red Alert’ – a live audio call to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) as designated by a lone worker requiring assistance. The new two-way audio capability means that users can more easily communicate with the ARC. This feature could prove particularly beneficial if the user is incapacitated (a ‘Man Down’ situation) through a slip, trip or fall.
Away from the alarm capabilities of the new Identicom, the device will also have three additional multi-function buttons located on the front of the device, which are in an unseen position behind the identity card when the device is being used discreetly. These buttons are designed to be of particular assistance in everyday use to improve communication when a lone worker is not at risk, either socially, or due to an activity. The multi-function buttons coupled with the two-way capability provide the user with the additional benefits of being able to call a specified number, trigger a text message (SMS) to a specified contact or activate a GPS location upload. The multi-function buttons are not intended for use as a discreet function of the device.
Other new features include improved GPS performance thanks to the latest SiRF IV chipset, a first for any lone worker device, and a temperature sensing capability to help provide an audit trail of environmental risk indicators. Identicom is the first lone worker device to use SiRF IV and benefit from vastly improved GPS signal acquisition time as well as working well in low signal environments. The temperate sensor will enable employers to monitor the safety of staff operating for periods in high or low temperature environments.
All of the original features of the first Identicom lone worker device remain – including its sleek identity badge product form, its discreet wear and operation and all the primary functions. Users are able to continue to leave ‘Amber Alert’ messages outlining their name and location as well as information about the activities they are carrying out and whether there is a perceived risk. Whilst this is not operator handled in real time, should a Red Alert be activated on the device, the ARC will access this in order to form a view of the context of a situation. It is, therefore, important they are kept up to date at all times.
As before, the third function button on the rear of the product activates a ‘Status Check’ on the Identicom device. This now gives the user a wider range and modernised visual feedback before they enter a potentially hazardous situation by incorporating an LCD display showing the GSM signal strength, on/off status, battery life and GPS status. This allows a worker to use the device as a vital part of their dynamic risk assessment.
Commenting on the launch, Craig Swallow Managing Director of Connexion2 said “Connexion2 has always been at the forefront of protecting lone workers from risk. We have listened to customers, channel partners and the Police and designed the next generation of ‘fit for purpose’ lone worker devices to take the company forward in this growth market. We are proud to be innovators, building quality product in the U.K. and helping make staff feel safer.”